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News from Monmouth County, New Jersey

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    The 20-year-old recorded some of the sex acts when he traveled to Virginia last month, authorities said

    A 20-year-old New Jersey man traveled to Virginia to sexually assault a child he met using social messaging app Kik, authorities said. 

    Matthew J. Essen, of Marlboro, is being held in the Monmouth County jail as he awaits extradition to Loudoun County, the sheriff's office there said Monday. 

    N.J. man pleads guilty to 1998 sexual assault of a boy

    Essen allegedly went to the Ashburn, Virginia, area on May 20 to meet the child, whose age and gender has not been disclosed. Essen recorded some of the sex acts, according to officials. 

    The child reported the assault the next day. 

    Essen, who turns 21 on Saturday, is charged with two counts of carnal knowledge, two counts of production of child pornography, indecent liberties with a child and online solicitation of a minor. 

    "We are fully investigating the matter and plan to vigorously defend Mr. Essen both here in New Jersey and in Virginia on the new allegations," his attorney Richard Lomurro wrote in an email.

    Essen was booked into the Monmouth County Jail on Friday on a charge of being a fugitive from justice, according to the Monmouth County Sheriff's Office website. The Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office's Computer Crimes Unit and a detective from Loudoun County arrested Essen at his home, a prosecutor's office spokesman said. 

    Essen's extradition hearing is Thursday. 

    Jeff Goldman may be reached at jeff_goldman@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @JeffSGoldman. Find NJ.com on Facebook.

     

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    Unofficial results for races in Monmouth County's June 5 primary election.


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    A car crashed through the glass wall and door in the front of Rook Coffee Roasters Tuesday in Long Branch.

    An SUV crashed Tuesday through the front of Rook Coffee Roasters in Long Branch.

    Owner Holly Migliaccio said the driver accidentally accelerated through the front glass wall and door of the coffee shop located on Joline Avenue at 3 p.m.

    Long Branch Police Chief Jason Roebuck said the woman driving the Ford SUV was not injured.

    Migliaccio said no employees or customers were injured in the crash and that neither the interior nor the structure of the store was damaged.

    Roebuck said the Long Branch Fire Department removed any hanging glass that was remaining and helped clean up the scene.

    Migliaccio said the store will be open for business Wednesday and that customers can access the shop through the side entrance within the front entrance of Ace Hardware, which is located next door.

    "We are all so thankful that this incident was minor and no one was hurt, and we look forward to getting the storefront fixed quickly in the coming days so we can continue to operate as normal," Migliaccio said Tuesday evening.

    Chris Sheldon may be reached at csheldon@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @chrisrsheldon Find NJ.com on Facebook.

     

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    The suit asserts that the boy, who was 7 at the time and suffering from a learning disability, was held so tightly by the guard that he felt he was going to throw up

    The mother of an Asbury Park elementary school student is suing the district for damages she says her son suffered when he was restrained so tightly by a security guard that he lost consciousness. 

    The incident occurred three years ago, on April 28, 2015, when the boy was a 7-year-old first grader at Barack Obama School, according to a lawsuit filed this past April in state Superior Court by his mother, Karen McMillan. The suit names the district and the Asbury Park Board of Education and the security guard, Barry Gramenty, as defendants, seeking damages for the boy's physical and emotional suffering, as well as legal fees.

    "The plaintiff was held so tightly by the defendant, Barry Gramenty, that the plaintiff, N.J., was going to throw up," the suit states. "The minor plaintiff, N.J., was eventually caused to lose consciousness."

    The suit further alleges that the school board "was reckless, careless, and/or negligent in that they failed to properly hire, screen, and/or train their security guard."

    The suits states that the boy, who had a learning disability, "sustained severe painful bodily injuries, loss of consciousness and severe emotional damages."

    The suit does not state why the security guard physically restrained the boy, or what conduct or events precipitated the incident. The boy's lawyer, Nathaniel Davis, did not respond to phone or email requests to elaborate on the assertions in the suit. 

    A May 2015 Asbury Park Press story quoted district officials as saying that the boy was restrained after throwing a temper tantrum, though his mother was quoted as saying he had never suffered such a "meltdown" and questioned the need to place him in a "choke hold." 

    A spokeswoman for the district, Chanta Jackson, confirmed statements attributed to her in the 2015 story that all policies and procedures had been followed at the time of the incident, and that the matter had been referred to law enforcement authorities. However, Jackson declined to comment further. 

    Asbury Park Police did not respond to requests for comment. A spokesman for the Monmouth County Prosecutor's office, Charles Webster, said he could not immediately comment on what, if anything, came of the case. 

    On Tuesday, a lawyer for the district filed papers seeking to move the suit from state Superior Court to U.S. District Court, asserting that a federal judge should hear the case because of the allegation that the the security guard and district had violated federal law.

    The suit asserts that the boy suffers from a learning disability, and that federal law known as Section 504 is intended to "protect the rights of individuals with disabilities in programs and activities that receive Federal financial assistance from the U.S. Department of Education."  

    The district's lawyer, Brent Davis -- no relation to the boy's lawyer -- declined to comment on the substance of the suit's allegations.

    CLARIFICATION: The story was updated to clarify the nature of the response by Asbury Park Public Schools spokeswoman Chanta Jackson to inquiries by NJ Advance Media. 

    Steve Strunsky may be reached at sstrunsky@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @SteveStrunsky. Find NJ.com on Facebook


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    Highlights from the state tournament.


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    It's located in the southbound express lanes near exit 109 in Middletown

    An approximately four-foot deep sinkhole that opened on the Garden State Parkway in Monmouth County late Wednesday morning will force the closure of one or two lanes through early Thursday, officials said. 

    The sinkhole, which is at least four feet long and four feet wide, is located in the southbound express right lane near milepost 110.5 in Middletown, according to a spokesman for the New Jersey Turnpike Authority, which operates the Parkway. 

    The left lane will remain open until after the evening rush and then it will be closed until early Thursday. Crews should have the repair done before the morning rush begins on Thursday, according to the spokesman. 

    A maintenance crew was compacting material while repairing a pot hole when the sinkhole opened, the spokesman said.  

    There were no crashes as a result of the sinkhole, State Police said. 

    Jeff Goldman may be reached at jeff_goldman@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @JeffSGoldman. Find NJ.com on Facebook.

     

     


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    A total of 20 former N.J. track and field stars will compete.


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    Costs of seasonal beach passes can deter poor Asbury Park families from going to the beach, but one local woman is determined to make the beach available to everyone. But one local woman is determined to make the beach available to everyone and created an online fundraising campaign to make it happen.

    Not every New Jersey child will feel the sand between their toes or the salty water around their ankles this summer, especially at Asbury Park, where the seasonal beach badges costs can deter poor families from going to the beach.

    But one local woman is determined to make the beach available to everyone and created an online fundraising campaign to make it happen.

    "Asbury Park has now become two separate communities; you know, people who can afford the beach and those who can't," Lisa Cramp of Asbury Park said.

    Over 30 percent of the seaside city lives under the poverty line, according to the Census Bureau, and seasonal beach passes run $20 for teens and $70 for adults. Cramp said she observed several children going to the beach after hours when the sea is free, but the lifeguards are gone.

    Cramp, a bartender at Wonder Bar, asked city officials last year to extend the life guard's hours, but they responded that it wasn't within the budget. So this year, Cramp took matters into her own hands and created a GoFundMe campaign to raise money for seasonal beach badges for poor families.

    "I think the beach should be free to everyone," she explained.

    The campaign, which Cramp launched Saturday, already reached $4,115.

    Cramp plans to use the funds to purchase more than 80 passes and give them to the Boys and Girls Club of Monmouth County and Trinity Church to distribute.


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    The woman's body was discovered on a street in Wall Township last month.

    Authorities have charged a man with dumping the body of a woman on a street in Wall Township last month.

    Edward Ramirez, 51, of Brick, is charged with disturbing human remains, the Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office said.

    Police found the body of Jamie Leis, 35, of Toms River, wrapped in a tarp on Brighton Avenue near Rockefeller Drive at about 10:30 a.m. May 17.

    Investigators didn't find any visible injuries on Leis, and authorities said they are waiting for the results of an autopsy to determine the cause and manner of death.

    Authorities urged anyone with information to call prosecutor's Detective Kevin Condon at 800-533-7443, or Wall police Detective Anthony Lacher at 732-449-4500 ext. 1186.

    Anyone who wants to remain anonymous, authorities said, can contact the Monmouth County Crime Stoppers. 

    Alex Napoliello may be reached at anapoliello@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @alexnapoNJ. Find NJ.com on Facebook.

    Have a tip? Tell us. nj.com/tips


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    What folks wore in the Garden State.

    The NPD Group, an American market research company, notes that "No other industry changes as rapidly as fashion. What's hot today is blase tomorrow. Innovation becomes retro. Seasons change. Hemlines rise and fall ... and so do sales figures. A celebrity makes a fashion statement on the red carpet and suddenly financial statements are covered in red."

    callahan's fort lee 70s VBC.jpgMenswear in the '70s ... when print was king. 

    I might add that it's not only celebrities on the red carpet who make fashion statements. Politicians, musicians and athletes heavily influence what the rest of us choose to wear. And, there is a uniquely 21st century movement that allows others to influence styles and make fashion trends almost instantaneous: social media and the internet.

    MORE: Vintage photos around New Jersey

    AdWeek points out "If you see a blogger wearing an outfit you love on Instagram, you can find and purchase the items right from your phone and have them delivered to your door thanks to shoppable applications that integrate with social media, like rewardStyle, ShopStyle and LIKEtoKNOW.it."

    In this gallery, we look at apparel from the past, as worn by folks in New Jersey. Some people in the gallery don statement pieces, others wear that which was strictly utilitarian; all make for interesting viewing.

    And here are some links to other similar galleries.

    Vintage photos of what N.J. people wore

    More vintage photos of what N.J. people wore

    Vintage photos of fashions and styles in N.J.

    Vintage photos of styles and fashions in N.J.

    Greg Hatala may be reached at ghatala@starledger.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregHatala. Find Greg Hatala on Facebook.


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    The mayor took to Facebook to gauge the public's interest in the town purchasing the land.

    The mayor of a Monmouth County town where a Lakewood-based group is planning to create a Jewish-studies school is flirting with the idea of the township purchasing the property to ensure it doesn't happen.

    The controversial plan to turn what was once a Jewish elementary school on Logan Road in Ocean Township into a Yeshiva, where 96 students ages 18 to 29 would live and study Jewish scriptures, was the focus of many highly contentious zoning board meetings in 2015.

    In April 2016, the township's zoning board voted for a second time to reject the application, which was followed by a standing ovation in the Ocean Township High School gymnasium. The meetings were moved there to accommodate a large number of residents who attended the meetings.

    The group, Yeshiva Gedola Na'os Yaakov, filed a federal lawsuit, arguing that its application was rejected because of its religious affiliation. A federal judge overruled the zoning board's decision.

    Ocean Township Mayor Chris Siciliano said in a Facebook post on Tuesday that the current owners of the property, Zebra Holdings II, agreed to sell the property at 1515 Logan Road in the Wanamassa section of town for $2.5 million.

    Yeshivalearningcenter.JPGThe proposed site of a Yeshiva school on Logan Road in the Wanamassa section of Ocean Township. (Alex Napoliello | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com)

    Siciliano cautioned that no official steps to purchase the property had been taken, but that he wanted to use the social media platform as a way to gauge the public's interest.

    "Please share this," he said of the Facebook post. "We would need to see an overwhelming response for us to consider this."

    If the township of nearly 30,000 residents bought the land, it would cost taxpayers $6.69 per quarter before negotiations, Siciliano said.  

    He said the building could be used for township recreational activities, offices for human services or for summer camp. 

    As of Wednesday afternoon, the post had been shared 210 times and had 430 comments. Most of the comments on Facebook support the purchase of the property.

    The opposition among the residents who attended the zoning board meetings became a focal point of the Yeshiva group's lawsuit.

    The group argued that the Ocean Township community "was motivated by hostility and animus toward the Orthodox Jewish community." Residents would pack the meetings and offer "lengthy, repetitive, irrelevant and improper testimony" for the purpose of delaying the process beyond the 120-day requirement to vote on a proposal, according to the lawsuit.

    Residents in the area surrounding the property told NJ Advance Media that their opposition was fueled by concerns over property values and the issues that arise with congesting a residential, family-friendly neighborhood with nearly 100 young adults.

    Their opposition was expressed, among other platforms, by posting lawn signs that read "No Dorm on Logan Road."

    The lawsuit targeted Siciliano's social media posts during the application process, saying his use of the "No Dorm on Logan Road" slogan "indicates his hostility to the Yeshiva and its students.

    He used the same slogan in Tuesday's post.

    "During our settlement hearing with the 'Dorm on Logan Road,' one thing I wanted to make sure of is that occupancy would be only upon satisfactorily meeting the terms we set forth. I am not going elaborate at this time," the post said. "Zebra holdings (owner of the property), is working on fulfilling the terms and hoping to have the students in there."

    Siciliano did not immediately return a phone call for comment on Wednesday. The attorneys who represented the Yeshiva group for the federal lawsuit also did not return phone calls seeking comment. 

    Alex Napoliello may be reached at anapoliello@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @alexnapoNJ. Find NJ.com on Facebook.

    Have a tip? Tell us. nj.com/tips


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    Neptune Township police found it over Memorial Day weekend and joked it was 'most likely looking for an evening coffee and donut from Dunkin' Donuts'

    The pig a Neptune Township police officer found wandering around over Memorial Day weekend was re-united with its owner after cops named it Pork Roll.

    In a light-hearted Facebook post, police joked the pig was "most likely looking for an evening coffee and donut from Dunkin' Donuts" before it was taken into "custody for questioning" after being spotted in the area of Route 33 and 35.

    Neptune Township cops said they turned the animal over the Monmouth County SPCA, who tracked down its owner. The person who runs the department's Facebook page added police "are well aware of the irony" of a cop wrangling a pig. 

    Anyone who has concerns about animal abuse is asked to call the Monmouth County SPCA's hotline at 877-898-7297.

    Last year, a pig escaped from its pen in Jersey City and spend some time running around the city before being corralled. 

    Jeff Goldman may be reached at jeff_goldman@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @JeffSGoldman. Find NJ.com on Facebook.


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    Check out previews and picks for each event at the 2018 Meet of Champions.


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    Meet the 28 players from New Jersey selected in the 2018 MLB Draft


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    State lawmakers are making a change to a bill that could allow New Jersey's casinos and tracks to begin accepting sports bets before Gov. Phil Murphy signs it into law. Watch video

    You might be able to place a legal sports bet in New Jersey as soon as Friday thanks to another twist in a years-long saga, NJ Advance Media has learned. 

    State lawmakers are planning to strip away a provision that has prevented the state's casinos and racetracks from accepting wagers on sports games in the month since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned a federal ban on such betting, according to three sources familiar with the situation. 

    That means casinos and tracks could begin offering bets as soon as the state Legislature passes the bill -- without having to wait for Gov. Gov. Phil Murphy to sign it into law. 

    The state Senate and Assembly are both scheduled to vote Thursday afternoon on the legislation, which would determine how the Garden State regulates and taxes sports betting online and in person at casinos and tracks.

    The goal is to speed up the process. While the bill is expected to pass each house easily, the question has been how quickly Murphy will sign it.

    Some were hoping he'd do so Friday to get betting going immediately. But his office said it plans to conduct a "thorough review" of the legislation.

    Sources have said it's possible Murphy could use sports betting as a negotiating chip amid tense state budget negotiations with lawmakers over the next few weeks.

    The last-minute amendment, however, could bypass that. 

    State Senate President Stephen Sweeney originally included language in the bill that would keep casinos and tracks from accepting bets until Murphy signed the measure into law, putting a regulatory structure in place.

    That meant Monmouth Park racetrack in Oceanport had to scuttle plans to open its sports betting operation without state regulation at the end of last month. 

    But that language is now gone, according to the sources, who asked for anonymity because they are not authorized to speak publicly about the matter. 

    NBA, MLB make plea as N.J. sports betting heads to finish line

    Whether that means Monmouth Park will open its sports betting operation Friday is unclear.

    "This is a very fluid situation," Dennis Drazin, the track's operator, told NJ Advance Media. "This is fast-developing."

    "We're still trying to figure it out," Drazin added.

    Officials at the Borgata casino in Atlantic City, which has also said its sports betting operation is ready to go, did not immediately return a message seeking comment Thursday about whether they would launch, as well. 

    Thursday's unexpected development is the latest chapter in New Jersey's seven-year fight to legalize sports betting. Five pro and college sports leagues sued the state repeatedly since 2011 to stop the plans. 

    But the Supreme Court sided with the state last month, overturning a 1992 federal ban on sports betting and opening the door for states across the country to allow such wagering. Nevada -- home to Las Vegas -- was the only place in the U.S. to offer full-scale sports betting before that.

    Monmouth Park was hoping to become the first place outside of Nevada to accept bets on games. Drazin said it was possible because of a 2014 law the state enacted to get around the federal ban by allowing sports wagering at casinos and tracks without state regulation.

    But Drazin agreed to hold off as state lawmakers worked out the regulation bill.

    In the meantime, Delaware on Tuesday became the first state outside of Nevada to formally allow full-scale sports betting.

    If Monmouth Park or any casino does begin accepting bets on games, it will be without state regulation until Murphy signs the bill.

    Lawmakers are also making a second amendment to the measure -- one that would allow the Golden Nugget casino in Atlantic City to allow such wagering.

    Originally, the bill would have blocked any facility from opening a sports book if its owners had a 10 percent stake or greater in a professional sports team.

    That would have affected the Golden Nugget, which is owned by Tilman Fertitta, who also owns the Houston Rockets of the NBA.

    But under the amendment, that casino would be barred only from accepting bets on NBA games, according to a source.

    Brent Johnson may be reached at bjohnson@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @johnsb01. Find NJ.com Politics on Facebook.

     

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    Kathleen Dorsett tried to withdrawal her guilty plea for plotting with her mom and dad to kill her ex-husband

    Kathleen Dorsett, the one one-time school teacher who's been in prison since 2013 for the plotting and killing of her ex-husband, was recently denied the chance to withdrawal her guilty plea, a state appeals court ruled.

    In 2010, Dorsett plotted with her father to kill her ex-husband, Stephen Moore, of Manchester, because she didn't want him involved in their 20-month-old daughter's life. 

    Dorsett, now 43, lured Moore to the side of their Ocean Township house where her father, Thomas Dorsett, was waiting to attack him.

    The duo then loaded Moore's body into his mother's SUV. Authorities found it on fire in Long Branch.

    Kathleen Dorsett's mother, Lesley Dorsett, also plotted to kill Moore's mother, in order to keep her from testifying about the murder at trial.

    The case made national headlines.

    All three were sentenced in 2013, and Judge Anthony Mellaci Jr. called Kathleen Dorsett the "manipulator" of the family. Kathleen was sentenced to 58 years in prison; her father Thomas Dorsett to 45 years and Lesley Dorsett to seven years.

    "Mr. Dorsett may have swung the murder weapon, but through her manipulation, Kathleen Dorsett put the idea and the weapon in his hands," Mellaci said during sentencing. 

    "His overwhelming love for his daughter caused him to be manipulated by her. She was the moving force."

    Kathleen Dorsett's recent appeal attempted to withdrawal her guilty plea, claiming her lawyer "told her she could not win the case," and "coerced (her) to accept the plea offer," the Thursday decision said. 

    The appeals judges said in their decision that she was fairly advised of her rights and options before sentencing.

    They also cite a part of Kathleen Dorsett's plea agreement -- a condition that allowed her mother to only face seven years in prison. Her mother's already been released from prison, so she's already received the full benefit of Kathleen's plea.

    Moreover, the man who set the car on fire, Anthony Morris, has already completed his sentence too, and he'd have no incentive to cooperate in another prosecution of Kathleen Dorsett, the decision said.

    Mellaci also said at the one of the hearings: "The case is truly an American family tragedy."

    Paige Gross may be reached at pgross@njadvancemedia.comFollow her on Twitter @By_paigegross. Find NJ.com on Facebook.


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    A letter from the state's Racing Commission warned N.J.'s three racetracks not to accept bets until the governor gives the OK. Watch video

    Don't bet on being able to place a legal sports bet in New Jersey on Friday. 

    New Jersey officials warned racetracks late Thursday that they must hold off on accepting wagers on sports games until Gov. Phil Murphy signs newly passed legislation to authorize such betting, according to a letter obtained by NJ Advance Media.

    Monmouth Park in Oceanport had discussed being ready to accept bets as soon as Friday at 5 p.m. The talk came shortly after state lawmakers passed historic legislation Thursday that would finally allow legal sports betting online and in person at casinos and tracks in New Jersey after the state won a seven-year court battle.

    In the bill that cleared both the state Senate and Assembly, lawmakers removed a provision that would have penalized anyone who opened a sports betting operation before Murphy signs the measure into law.

    That technically allows sports betting to begin under an existing New Jersey law that does require state regulation.

    But the New Jersey Racing Commission put the state's three racetracks on notice that they need to wait for the governor's approval.

    "Participation in sports wagering, or in services related to sports wagering, on the grounds of the racetrack without first obtaining the necessary license will result in the commission taking disciplinary action against that person or entity," reads the letter from the commission's executive director, Frank Zanzuccki.

    N.J. lawmakers OK sports betting

    "The conduct of sports wagering-related activities by persons or entities prior to the final passage of this legislation may bear upon their suitability for licensure under the anticipated law," Zanzuccki wrote.

    "It should be fully understood that any improprieties or adverse conduct related to any unregulated activities would have the potential to jeopardize their ability to be licensed for sports wagering under the new law," he added.

    In other words, the commission put racetracks on notice that they're all required to have a vendor license and that any racetrack that accepts bets before the bill is signed into law will have to have those bets reviewed -- which would delay their licenses. 

    The commission's letter was sent to Dennis Drazin, Monmouth Park's operator, and the general managers of Freehold Raceway and New Meadowlands Racetrack in East Rutherford.

    Drazin told NJ Advance Media Thursday night he had not yet received the letter.

    But he stressed the track will not begin accepting bets without Murphy's blessing, regardless of the last-minute alteration to the bill. 

    Drazin said only Murphy signing the measure Friday or him telling the track it's OK to proceed would change that.

    "I'm gonna respect his wishes," Drazin said. "He got the bill today, he's gonna review it. I hope he moves expeditiously."

    Drazin said the governor had not called him as of 9:40 p.m. Thursday.

    "I'm gonna wait," Drazin said.

    Murphy has publicly said he supports sports betting, but it's still unclear when he'll act on the bill. The governor has 45 days to either sign or veto it.

    He said during a telephone town hall shortly after Thursday's vote that he still needs to "review" the measure.

    "And that's gonna happen sooner than later in New Jersey, and that's a good thing," Murphy added.

    But a source who requested anonymity said Murphy likely won't sign the bill until next week at the earliest.

    Matt Arco may be reached at marco@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @MatthewArco or Facebook.

    Brent Johnson may be reached at bjohnson@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @johnsb01.

     

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    Got any quarters?


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    Ivy Rookie of the Year helps Yale win national championship

    Like most college freshmen, Chris Fake wasn't sure what to expect when he arrived on the campus of Yale University. The men's lacrosse coaching staff wasn't exactly sure either.

    It didn't take long for everyone to realize the Hun School graduate would fit in just fine. More than fine, actually.

    flake.jpgChris Fake 

    Fake, who turned 19 last month, earned Ivy League Rookie of the Year status, was Second Team United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association All-American, and most importantly, played a key role as the team went on to beat Duke and win the NCAA National Championship Memorial Day. He also made the All-Tournament team.

    (Robert Mooney, a junior from Princeton and Lawrenceville School graduate, is also on the Yale squad)

    Defensive coordinator Andrew Baxter only saw Fake on film before he arrived at school. Originally committed early to the University of Virginia, Fake opted out following a coaching change down there.

    "I had heard great things about him,'' said Baxter, who has coached on the collegiate level 16 years. "(Hun) Coach M.V. Whitlow told us we had to take a look at him, and it didn't take that long to realize how good he was. The impact he had I'd say is pretty unusual. We've had freshmen play in the past, but not an All-American. At this level, especially on defense, that's pretty crazy.''

    A year ago Fake had completed his fourth season as a varsity starter at the Princeton private school. He was a USA Today All-American along with several other honors. Just as accomplished academically, he made National Honor Society, Cum Laude Society, and captained the lacrosse team and football team.

    Still...

    "I was not expecting much,'' said Fake, now 6-foot-1, 215 pounds. "I wasn't sure if I was going to play; I wasn't sure of a lot of things. Someone was injured and I got an early opportunity to play, and I tried to make the most of it. The game is so much faster, you're thinking so much faster. Honestly, probably the hardest part of the transition from high school is that the ball moves so much faster and you have to be so much more aware.''

    Playing organized lacrosse in Allentown since third grade, Fake made the switch to defense in fifth grade. Eight years ago a summer team needed a long pole and Fake obliged. Aside from a couple of goals in high school, his scoring days were over.

    "I loved scoring points when I was an attackman,'' he said, "but when I started playing defense I kind of fell in love with it because how physical you get to be, and how much you get to hit people. And you never really have that stress of, 'I have to score points' during a game.''

    Yale finished 17-3, getting one of those losses back by beating Cornell in the NCAAs. Cornell had beaten the Bulldogs for the Ivy title. Their other losses were by one point to Villanova and Bucknell.

    "We knew we were special,'' Fake said about his team. "But the coaches kept us humble, which I think was the most important part of our success.''

    They faced No. 2 Albany in the national semis, which had two of the top attackmen in the country. Combined they had one assist.

    "His focus on the details and his ability to apply coaching is something I've never seen before,'' Baxter said about the youngster. "He gets very dialed in without getting nervous or anxious about what he needs to do, which is very rare for a kid his age. Really, it's incredible.''

    Despite a work load that for now appears to be a major in chemical Engineering, Fake spent time before and after practice working with attackmen, and early on it was senior Ben Reeves who alerted the staff on how good this kid looked. That's saying a lot, since Reeves last week was awarded the Tewaaraton Award as the country's best lacrosse player.

    "They would go one-on-one, and after practice he'd come up to us and say, 'Chris Fake is pretty good. He's probably the best defenseman I've ever played against.' We were like, 'OK.' Ben has played against some high-level players, like on the world team, but he'd say, 'This kid is unbelievable, coach.' "

    "He's a great teammate,'' Baxter added. "I've never heard him complain about anything. He showed up every day, working on his game. He's just a sheer asset. He stands for everything that we do as a program.'' 


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    College professors and social media don't always mix.


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